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Four principal elements of life

Earth, Air, Fire and Water … The humanist side of politics see them as spiritual elements that need to be respected even when being put to use … The corporate side of politics see them as an opportunity to capitalise upon for personal enrichment … and there is the left – right divide.

But mother nature is a strange beast, caring little for the creatures that shelter from or make use of her bounty … whether they use it judicially or waste it profusely, she is what is described as an immovable force, neither sympathetic to cruelty nor appreciative of kindness … she just is. And it goes to measure that they who will waste her resources to fulfil their own greed and treasure house is benefited as much by the same chance of luck and fortune as those who hold her gifts dear to their heart.

There is, however, a price to pay for the wanton destruction of a natural resource … Humanity, being the most guilty of this crime, has learned from so many social collapses and natural disasters that the limits of endurance of a natural system of supply can only be pushed to a certain limit before it hurts … and hurts sorely. Humanity has learned, but alas, not applied that lesson … Humanity esteems that wisdom, praises it, builds idols to it … but does not emulate it … and can there be anything more pathetic than a subordinate giving false flattery to an overseer in the hope for material reward?

Earth, Air, Fire and Water … these were the elements that those Germanic pioneers used as the axiom for their lives out here in the South Australian hinterland, and we can use their trials and tribulations as metaphorical example of that ideological divide … The basic truths that they brought from their homelands in the valleys and on the river banks of the Silesian and Pomeranian soils when they migrated with entire villages to a new land, a new horizon that would allow them the freedoms to pursue their own unique life-style and culture. There was no other truth to their lives and those basic truths were shared with and abided next to their deep Godly faith … it was life and death to them.

Their Earth was the dry, shallow Mallee soils, or the more fertile hills and shallow valleys of the Barossa Ranges … Their Air was the winds that tore through their hard-won crops and orchards … Fire was ever their watch-word that could in a moment wipe out their entire dreams and Water was such a thirst that it went either to drought or to flood .. It was these elements that they held in deep but reverent superstition, where many festivals celebrating a good harvest or lamenting hard times was a hang-over from their pagan past and revered and feared with equal passion.

But there was a contrast in ideology at work in that new colony between the objectives of the colonial administrators and the pioneer settlers. Part of a new philosophy of capitalist exploitation. The one more keen to profit from their speculation at the expense of the land (Earth) with the official doctrine of “trees don’t pay taxes”, the burning of cut-wood for energy and charcoal fuel (Air), the smelting of ores and powering of steam engines (Fire) and the last (Water), such a valuable commodity that could be measured in a price per gallon, held and levied as a commodity.

Who would win this tug-of-war between the basic necessities of life and the profit of corporations? … Of course, it was never in question … They who command the power of regulation and jurisdiction make the laws and enforce them. But the laws they made took little account of those four vital elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water that the farmers staked their survival upon and so the taxes, the interest rates and the harsh conditions of both the leases of land and the environment took their toll … So the pioneers sweated their too small parcels of land, broke their families hearts, condemned to frightful birthing moments and illness and disease, and broke their own backs in doing so and after several generations were scattered to the farther reaches of the new colonies and their leaseholds sold and resold to neighbours to increase their own acreage and the chance of financial survival in an unforgiving environment, till the pioneers finally got the hang of the soils, the knowledge of the weather patterns and the chances of fire and made a go of their estates, only to be once again reviled for their “German-ness” in the time of the Great War.

All those place-names, those familiarities that gave their new locations a feeling of “home” … hamlets and streams, the hills and forests, the valleys and the tracks … names rolled off in a German tongue now culled from the maps by a ludicrously named ”Department of Nomenclature” … to victimise those hardy farmers and tradespeople who in reality had little intention of revolution as they came to the colony to escape those same warring empires … and even had less hope of achieving any uprising even had they the inclination … But still they were held in suspicion, partly because of their close-held cultural beliefs and their singular Lutheranism … one of the very reasons they fled their homeland … and so they stood next in line to the Indigenous peoples to witness their identities erased with the stroke of a clerk’s pen and substituted for a ruling nation’s whim, a mere idiosyncrasy.

But those hardy peasants, stubbornly steeled in their beliefs by centuries of certainty, rose above mere bureaucracy, their offspring gaining more and more credibility in agricultural pursuits .. orchards, cropping, animal husbandry and wine-making until they were the major force in the adjacent valleys and flats … Their family names now a marque of distinction in the art of vigneron and fine produce. No more rejected for their origins, where once the names of “Those who Served” on local plinth and stone memorial boasted a majority of Anglo-Celtic surnames. By the time of the second world war, these Germanic families heralded the majority of servicemen and women.

Now the object of those who considered themselves “born to rule” was how to bring this rising demographic “into the tent” … into the arms of a conservative colonial ruling class, when in truth those very same “lesser aristocrats” of a lower status than those they emulated in snobbery, if not in capacity, would rather see these “foreigners” remain in a servile state and managed like their own country-folk, destroyed of their culture and native inclinations by the brutality of the British industrial revolution … robbed of their heritage by a rapacious middle-class … so they sought out those members of the community most aligned with their own ambitions … most agreeable to their own “consciousness of kind” … those later arrivals who were able to ride in on the coat-tails of their hard-working country people … ”the Men who come behind”, as Henry Lawson wrote:

“There’s a class of men (and women) who are always on their guard —
Cunning, treacherous, suspicious — feeling softly — grasping hard —
Brainy, yet without the courage to forsake the beaten track —
Cautiously they feel their way behind a bolder spirit’s back …”

Better educated, more financially secure, more than willing to bend their culture and will to a ruling class appreciative of a “doffed cap and the tugged forelock “ … they are easy to find, easier to corrupt and cheaper to reward … divide and rule, a tactic as old as empires and as certain of as time itself.

Those suitable applicants were initiated into the rituals of governance .. the conditions of rule, the bias of social superiority that would lead to the possibilities of wealth and glittering prizes. Some of these old family names were altered, letters and umlauts dropped that showed their origins as too vulgar … too close to the Earth … too close to a past of struggle and woe … These new inductees needed to be “blooded” in class warfare, with a knowledge of which side must always “win” … So from the end of that second war, we see many names that once graced the lists of “desperate needs dole”, now, in this new century, carved in the foundation stones of civic buildings and raised in toast at dinners of the Chambers of Commerce in the capital city, while their “lesser” cousins marvelled the crowds at local and national sport grounds with their dexterity with ball, bat and other skilled sports.

But their parents and their grandparents and forebears right back to the first years of the colony have their names carved into a different, more humble marble and stone … Courageous testaments cut in lonely, abandoned church-yard cemeteries … many with their still-born or short-lived children buried next to them, to keep them company into eternity and perhaps the only recognition being a short note in the obituaries of another’s old diary or the fading memory of a aged descendant, themselves still keen to test the four elements that continuously challenge those with close and honest affinity to the eternity of the land:

Earth, Air, Fire and Water.


43 comments

  1. Michael Taylor

    Enjoyable read, Joe. Liked it. 👍

  2. Jack Russell

    The essence of my forebears, who originally settled in the harsh wilds of Eyre Peninsula and the Barossa Valley and carved out a life for themselves so long ago, has been passed on, intact, down through the generations. I know their faces, and have inherited their skillsets and attitudes, as something that enduring does not get lost over time. Air, wind, fire and water, just as you painted it.

    Welcome back Joe.

  3. Joseph Carli

    Ta, Michael…Having recently gained access to a marvellous cache of archived material from the collection of the late Mr.Reg Munchenberg, I have been able to peruse local articles and information he had collected from 1830s to the 1990s…newspaper articles and snippets of info’ he himself had access to..bits and pieces that give insight to the everyday lives of the district..
    It is of both social and historical interest to examine the development of the South Australian experiment of colonialism, in that it was promoted and sold as a speculating capital venture..a “free market enterprise” if you like…and on THAT principle, it was in one way a screaming success and in another way an abject failure….a “success” in that it created an early version of a property boom with speculators buying and selling land with extreme abandon that drove prices through the roof and in the end contributed to the near complete collapse of the colony, in that no agricultural produce of any substance was being grown and the colony near starved and when the governor (Gawler) did contract work for civic construction, he paid with promissory notes that were not honoured by the banks back in England so that the huge debt (around 300,000 pounds) had to be bailed out by the British govt..another example of private debt-public bailout…and the British govt was forced to take control of the colony against its wishes just six years after it was founded.
    The importation of the Germanic pioneers was the only way the colony could rely upon survival, with the hardy pioneers settled in the most time inhospitable areas and used almost (as I see it) as slave labour..I have written on this before here : https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/on-the-rim-of-a-far-horizon/ …and here : https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/on-one-side-the-night-so-dark/

    I have not put up a post for a while, and this post is here because I feel it is incumbent upon us of the left to fully understand the destructive methodology of the right-wing when it sets to work to destroy a country and a people…The example of those hardy Germanic pioneers can be used as notice of the impossibility of the right-wing attempt to crush the spirit of a community..they can oppress it..they can break some individuals in it…but they cannot, never have been able to, entirely break the core spirit of a culture..ANY culture..be it those many immigrants that came to these shores seeking a new hope or those people of the ruling classes own nation who they jailed, hung, chased down and starved in the Dickensian slums of the English industrial revolution…and most notably the indigenous peoples they stole the land from in the first place. They have tried everything and failed every time..

  4. Joseph Carli

    Thanks, Jack…

  5. Barry Thompson

    Good to see you are ok Joseph, I was worried about you.

  6. Joseph Carli

    Thanks for the concern, Barry..good of you…but no..besides the usual vicissitudes of life, all is well (touch wood!)…And I return the query..hope yours and yourself are ok…

  7. Barry Thompson

    Yes we are fine thanks Joseph.

  8. Arthur Baker

    Four principle elements? That would be principal then.

  9. Joseph Carli

    Indeed, Arthur…in-deed..

  10. Joseph Carli

    The main methodology of Right-wing or “establishment” control of a population is through the promotion of the idea that change is “too hard”..or “too costly”…or “for the wrong reasons”…and “we must be cautious”…in effect sowing the seeds of “controlled doubt”..and this is done through the acceptance that ‘The Established Order” of the born to rule is set in stone..to be trusted to make the correct decisions…for the best…for the best WHAT they never say..But the ultimate objective is to control the speed and direction of implementation of ideas..

    Here’s an example of the headlines from the regional newspaper : “The (Barossa) Leader”..15 / 7 / 1943. :

    “GOV’T HAS ASKED FOR POST-WAR PROJECTS!
    LET’S GET THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS ; DEVELOP MURRAY FLATS;
    MERGE ANGASTON – NURI – TANUDA FOR FUTURE CITY.
    Water conservation; irrigation ; house-building ; railway extensions ; electricity for plains; area schools; Tanunda as industrial centre . . . “

    And on and on it goes..and THIS from a relatively conservative publication in a conservative mid-war period..Yet, they foresaw the possibility of regional development with the assistance of waves of immigrant labour…THEY KNEW and have had experience of the value of the Germanic immigrants to base their judgement upon, yet the central politics of the day ignored them..why?..Because the central politicians could not control that conversation..THAT is how right-wing politics works..: “Control the conversation – predict the outcome”..
    How to control the conversation?…You control the speakers of the conversation..you control the “mood” of the conversation..you control the media that reports the conversation..
    We saw those strategies in action with the Barnaby Joyce “affair”..

  11. Don Wilson

    It is a most interesting read you have given us Joe, covering very nicely the trials and tribulations of early settlers in South Australia. As you’ve mentioned here, there was much hardship in the first decade or two. It was indeed the German Lutheran migrants that contributed most to making the colony viable from an environment which was unfriendly once you reached further out from Adelaide.

    You’ve rightly shown that the early settlers were sold a pup by the romantic ideas of Wakefield, aided by the property speculators, as rife then as they are now. I felt for Governor George Gawler given the near-impossible task of feeding the settlement and getting it viable. I regard him as arguably the first Keynesian in the way he pushed the colony massively into debt just to get it started. Light had plans to get it going, of course, but not much support before then. It played its part in moving SA beyond a tent city on the Torrens. He was treated badly by the SA Company and by British Foreign Office for the debt, but he saved the colony.

    Some of my knowledge comes from a book on my ancestors, the Aldermans. William and his wife Fanny arrived from England as illiterate pig farm laborers in the late 1830s. As luck would have it, someone had allowed pigs to roam wild among the West Beach sandhills with a vague idea of feeding the colony. William suddenly found his skills with pigs in demand. He prospered to such an extent that he was able to set up a farm property at Gawler River. He prospered there to the point of virtually becoming a gentleman, becoming an elder at St George’s Anglican Church, a member of the Gawler Racing club and so on.

    Neither he nor his wife had forgotten their background. They resolved that all of their children would be literate. They set aside an acre of their land for the building of a school (it is a curiosity that many tiny schools were created just that way in country Australia). He prevailed upon a Lutheran pastor to establish a school there called Buchfelde. During WWI anti-German jingoism led to it being renamed Loos school.

    My sister-in-law’s paternal grandfather settled in Perth. But in the anti-German hysteria of WWI he was subjected to a Krystalnight type of experience where his shop was smashed and torched. So for safety in numbers he relocated to the Barossa Valley. Where his son married a Barossa Deutsche girl.

  12. Joseph Carli

    Very, very interesting story of your ancestors, Don…I read in those archives of a bloke who set out from Adelaide to the Murray River region with a large number of pigs with the intention of starting an industry there around pig farming..and it describes his trials and tribulations along the way..I’ll have to dig it out again for another read..i remember it gave me a smile…wonderful story..Ta!

    One of the villians of that era was a bloke named Flaxman..the agent for George Angas..a real swindler of a character

  13. Joseph Carli

    From “Hawkers diary” 1843…This man set out with a Mr. J Baker to go partners in a pig-farming business on the Murray…They stopped off at Gawler on the way..(didn’t say what for)…and they drove this herd (?) of pigs all the way to the river at Mr. Eyre’s property (at Moorundi)..resting at the foot of Accomodation hill at a property aptly named “Dustbowl”…(McBean’s Station).

  14. jimhaz

    History can never encompass reality. One should not apply personal emotion to it as that is comparing apples to oranges – it almost always seems to lose the right context.

  15. helvityni

    The convicts who were shipped here from England, were hardly aristocrats ( maybe one or two disgraced Earls amongst them ), yet they felt superior to the people who had lived here for thousands of years…the Aboriginals.

    Then the descendants of those very same convicts have treated the later newcomers as lesser beings, no matter where they came from, were they Germans, Greek, Italian, Irish, Lebanese, Vietnamese, it did not matter if they were white , brown or yellow…black was a no-no unless they could run fast…

    The unwanted Germans had their own modest Lutheran churches, now the Muslims are the baddies…just ask Pauline.

    Yet our PM sees Australia as the most harmonious multi-cultural society in the whole wide world…

  16. Meg

    If you want to feel superior, just walk through any Westfield food court, on any day of the week. These are the bloated voters that use their democracy to keep the brown skinny hordes on some far unforsaken shore.

  17. Meg

    People like you, Joseph should rule.

  18. helvityni

    ..to add something to my earlier post;

    My brother-in-law’s missus is of a Russian background. Her parents had escaped communism,( so definitely not communists) and landed in Peru, via a camp in Italy. From there later on to Oz.

    She was asked at her primary school by her Aussie class mates: Do they sit on chairs in Peru? Those kids must have thought that South America is one big happy jungle, full of monkeys.

  19. Meg

    Australians really are idiots and don’t deserve to have “won the lottery of life” by being born here…

  20. Joseph Carli

    Hello, helvi’..yes that curious level of snobbery was at the centre of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”…where the free-white man, be he ever so rougeish or impoverished was yet so far above the coloured person as to have power of life or death over them..cruel fate..and our bloody PM…isn’t he a complete imbecile!!

  21. Joseph Carli

    jimhazJune 15, 2018 at 3:17 pm Edit

    “History can never encompass reality. One should not apply personal emotion to it as that is comparing apples to oranges – it almost always seems to lose the right context.”

    How convenient for the victors!

    “People like you, Joseph should rule.”…Just one day!….just ONE bloody day…!!..an’ I tell you what!!

  22. Jack

    helvityni, they were just primary school kids, give them a break. I doubt they had much exposure at their age to a small nation on the other side of the world

  23. Joseph Carli

    If we look to the aspirations of the community in the mid-war years of 1943, as recorded in an above comment of mine, you can see the difference between the grand optimism then as against the lesser ambitions now…Several years ago I attended another “Sedan Aspirations and Goals” in the local town hall..it went like this..:

    Now, anyone here who has lived in a small country town will recognize the situation I am about to describe. There is a familiarity with both the pettiness of complaint and the seriousness of the minutiae of desire for redress that runs like “Orteses Thread” through the fabric of the community..and like all these little communities, a heady mix of “rumour, envy and shadenfreude” sustains all it’s members!

    Into this community, there came the CEO. of the local council to address the citizens in a : “Community Aspirations and Goals meeting at the Sedan Memorial Hall, all invited w/ coffee and cake provided”. Now right there, from the start, any local could’ve told him that he could’a doubled his attendance if’n he’d offered ‘mini-savs’ on the menu! As it was , a goodly group turned up to ‘sus out’ the new CEO. I was one of that group…I had a couple of ‘goals’ of my own to suggest at that meeting!….

    It went like this.

    The new CEO came from the Sth East…Mt Gambier , to be precise..There is a lot of water down that end of the state..and maybe they are more used to partaking of THAT liquid rather that the Sedan locals..to whom beer and the like are no strangers! So it was as no surprise that several “known” members of the local public came to the meeting straight from the front bar of the Sedan Hotel..and I did notice that one such, with the nickname ; “Pull-through” (I won’t go into the reasons for these designations, it could be too tedious and convoluted…some though, give a hint!), skinny as he is, found the doorway a tad too narrow as he ricocheted off the jambs!

    “ Now I don’t want to be sitting back in my office in Mannum dictating to the community what it will have”..the CEO began. “I want YOU..the community to tell me what are YOUR aspirations and goals for Sedan…” and here he paused for effect to thrust his pointer at several headings written on a large piece of butchers paper blu-tacked on the wall…he swept his black-rimmed bespectacled and wide-eyed gaze accusatively around the room….feet shuffled..a sign of expected comment.

    “How about a ramp in the gutter there outside the pub..there on the footpath” ‘Banger’ was first off the rank…the CEO raised his eyebrows.
    “Oh, so ..a ‘disabled ramp’ in the kerbing?” he suggested.
    “Well…” ‘Banger’ drawled “Not so much ‘disabled’…well not going IN..coming out maybe!..” this got a few laughs..” But you can make a miss-step there and do your self some damage on a Friday night”..a good deal of nodding and cross-chatter affirmed this point “…broke six bottles the other week!…”was heard in one camp.

    “Yes, yes..I see…mark that down Mr. Parker. “ the CEO addressed his clerk. “Some more please”. Of course, Banger’s first foray into the pond unleashed a tirade of ideas…from the problem with puddles outside the post-office (when it DID rain), painted house numbers on the kerbs (only a small portion of the town has kerbing) to a scenic car-park on the top of Sedan Hill for the visitors to the district (this last drew a muffled gasp from the crowd for it’s audaciousness…a pet project of Mrs. Auricht) ..several more trite complaints followed. The poor CEO, expecting more in the line of aspirations than desperations was becoming impatient at the somewhat pettiness of the requests..
    “Yes, yes..but I was hoping for…for…” his eyes swept the room..he saw not the least sympathy….he understood..”…NO!..put those down, Mr. Parker..put those..those ideas in that ledger of yours….ok..any more?”
    I was waiting for my moment..After a short silence and the turning of heads toward each-other negatively, I put up my hand.
    “ I have an idea “ I volunteered. A disapproving murmer pulsated through the crowd..my reputation had preceded me!..” A fountain!” I exclaimed boldly..” In the centre of the square there…we move that cement obelisk..after all it is only a street sign, not a memorial..and we put a fountain in the centre of the town..as a mark of beauty and a testament to the resilience of this community living in a dry country…I envisage(yes..I spoke like that!..I had rehearsed) a low, brimming bowl with the water lapping over a polished, curved lip..within this bowl is a tryptich sculpture of panels..three sandstone panels carved in relief with representations of (in the centre) ; The Mallee Tree..flanked by on one side representations of the Indigenous peoples and on the other ; the Pioneers of the district..(There was silence in the room as I spoke..more now, I realise , from shock than from politeness!)…the entire fountain surrounded by beds of native flora….so that visitors driving into the town will immediately see this amazing display in the middle of dryness and say ; “WOW!”…” I finished my little spiel with a flourish of my arms.

    There was silence in the room..a full seven seconds silence…the record is ten seconds!..then , like bursting through the surface of water after a deep dive, the cacophony of the world around came crashing in…a veritable HOWL of derision and outrage was flung in my direction…everybody moved away from me..of the dissenters, “Groper” was most red-faced ..
    “ Move the obelisk!..” he raged, “..move the f#ckin’ obelisk !!..my dad helped build that f#ckin’ obelisk…it’s..it’s a treasure..it’s almost sacred!…no!..no !…we don’t move the f#ckin’ okelisk!..no, ferget it!” nodding heads and cries of support for ‘Groper’ were thick on the ground , so that the CEO. gave a shake of his head to his clerk and then decided to wrap up the meeting. I quickly made my escape.

    It was about a month before some folk would talk to me in the street after such blasphemy. But I do hold second place (I believe) in the ‘Sound of Silence’ record in the community..There are some small moments to treasure with the experience of living in small country towns…I’ll tell you about them someday!

  24. diannaart

    But their parents and their grandparents and forebears right back to the first years of the colony have their names carved into a different, more humble marble and stone … Courageous testaments cut in lonely, abandoned church-yard cemeteries …

    Prior to those recent remnants is 60,000+ years of a culture of which courageous testaments continue to be trampled and deliberately forgotten.

  25. Joseph Carli

    Thanking you for your contribution, sir/madam… we hope to hear some more from you on the above subject soon. . .
    ( non sequitur : A Latin phrase meaning it does not follow, used to mean something that does not follow logically from what has already been stated ).

  26. Kaye Lee

    I think the history of our Indigenous people is very relevant to a discussion of attachment to earth, air, fire and water. Likewise to the struggles faced when newcomers dispossessed them.

    They too were asked to abandon their culture though there were no marble testaments to their courage. I do not think pointing to the destruction of their sacred sites and cultural heritage is a non-sequiter, merely a comparison with the topic at hand.

  27. Freethinker

    Thank you for your article Joe, I enjoyed the reading.

    Anger and rebellion circulate in my blood when for many the principal elements are Greed, Ruling, Suppress and Murdering.
    Some will say that this is part of human nature, that being like this for thousands of years but I will say to them that it is worse now because of the new generations ignored the past and to some degree those that have lived by those evil elements are regarded as heroes with their names in our buildings, streets, and educational institutions.

  28. johno

    There is nothing wrong with not having chairs anyway, and many people’s still don’t. Rugs, cushions, and squating all work fine.

  29. Joseph Carli

    johno…I couldn’t agree more..and as a sufferer of many years of a chronic case of “lateral spine” (terminal)..my preferred style of support is the chaise lounge.

  30. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee..it is always a humbling experience when I read of the support and comfort given to the indigenous peoples from those of knowledge and experience..I too would like to think I have offered much lip-service to their plight..and I look forward to ..perhaps..an enlightening article or two more from yourself and others on that subject……….in the meantime . . .

  31. Kaye Lee

    Am I to read that as a slap down? Seriously Joe, I do not understand why you are so touchy? Discussions develop on this site. As an author, one would have thought you would be happy about that. Isn’t that why we post here?

  32. Joseph Carli

    Keeping on subject, I read in one article from 1910 that the first meeting of “The Australasian National League” was forrmed in Truro..a quick Google says that this organisation was a follow-on from the earlier “National Defence League”..;

    “The National Defence League (NDL) was an independent conservative political party founded in 1891[1] by MLC Richard Baker in South Australia as an immediate response to the perceived threat from Labor. Though renamed the Australasian National League (ANL) in 1896, it was still often referred to by its former name.[2] It lasted until after the 1910 election when it merged with the Liberal and Democratic Union and the Farmers and Producers Political Union to become the Liberal Union.

    The NDL, composed of Adelaide businessmen, professional men and pastoralists, organised to oppose: Labor and the United Trades and Labour Council, perceived socialism, increased suffrage, the eight-hour day, state conciliation and arbitration, and single tax. The NDL stood for ‘the preservation of law, order and property’ and was opposed to ‘all undue class influence in Parliament’.”…..(wiki..)

    This mob in turn became the Liberal Country League and a branch was formed in Truro in the mid forties..(c; 1943)..with the usual suspects (mostly Anglo/Celt) holding the main office. One suspects their main objection to “undue class influence” was any loosening of THEIR class hold on power and legislation..

  33. helvityni

    johno
    June 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm
    There is nothing wrong with not having chairs anyway, and many people’s still don’t. Rugs, cushions, and squating all work fine.

    Some time ago, when we had bought our first house in Balmain, we had run out of money, and Christmas was due. Chrissie celebrations were to be at our place. What to do, extended family and some friends were invited, but we had not enough chairs for all.

    The table was long enough , so the solution was to put two solid planks on paint drums on both sides of it….. only the oldest relatives got chairs. It was one of the best ot Christmases…

  34. Kaye Lee

    helvityni,

    We used milk crates for all sorts of things. Put a cushion on it, it’s a seat, put an old door on two of them, it’s a table. Put your shoes in them. They also were great for storing LPs. I suggested it to my daughter recently, She was horrified by the idea. Our kids have had it too good (in some ways).

  35. diannaart

    Joseph Carli

    My comment is right on topic. It concerned the fading of past cultures and the four element features just as importantly within the original inhabitants of this land as they do for human beings world wide.

    However, you remain hyper-sensitive to anything that does not fit your world view, which is a shame – we could have some interesting discussions if you could just get over the fact that not everyone sees what you see.

    Not so long ago I commented to someone else who reacts with venom when challenged, I pointed out we can reach the same destination via different paths.

    Whether you are charitable towards First Nation people is not the point. My point was that much older cultures are being forgotten.

    Apart from your White-Bread tales from the not so distant past – what is the point you are trying to make?

  36. helvityni

    LOL, Kaye Lee

    What’s the matter with the kids today..?

    They do not see any value in milk crates, not as a piece of furniture or as a stackable storage shelving in a garden shed or in the garage…

  37. diannaart

    helvityni

    Some young uni students I know are in a share household making do with milk crates and other items found on hard waste collection days. Just as I did.

    I do not believe they are unique either, in fact, with the reduction of penalty rates for many service jobs, life is probably even harder for our young people than it was for me.

    Apologies to Joseph Carli for not sticking to his topic.

    😛

  38. Joseph Carli

    Diannaart asks :
    “Apart from your White-Bread tales from the not so distant past – what is the point you are trying to make?”

    A fair question and one I have avoided directly answering for many a day, both on here and another blog site I used to post on..”The Pub”. But perhaps now is the time to confront such a demand…Though I am certain to be mocked some more for it.

    I have tried to let my articles do the “talking” for me in that I believe the best method, the most honest method of spreading the political word in print or picture is through emotion. The emotion generated from intense belief, faith in the ideal and courage in the confrontation and delivery of those ideals..and I use my interests in history, both ancient and contemporary – “white-bread tales”- to deliver those ideals via emotive articles.

    The greatest enemy, I believe, in these philistine times is the dumbing down of our emotions..substituting the false gods of economic reasoning and evidence-based accusation when confronting political bastardry. There are too many too willing to play the role of the soothing nurse when what is wanted is more of a shout of anger!

    We saw such “logic” in action with the Barnaby Joyce affair, first from the MSMedia refusing to release information of his moral turpitude on the grounds that it was “a private matter”..and then on Twitter I personally and vociferously supported the argument of the case being answered on moral and ethical grounds while many middle-class “lefties” criticised me with the now proven false motive of “ it’s not about the rooting but the rorting!” even to the point of blocking me…when it certainly WAS about the “rooting”..especially when it turned out that it was WE; the voting public who were getting screwed over!

    The recent interview on Radio National with Tony Windsor, who persisted despite interruption to place his case for the pursuit of Joyce was a moving moment of honesty..spoken not out of spite, but from outraged honour..the same outraged honour WE; the people must be able to express with sincere emotion, NOT with the cold as charity banality of nurtured , private-schooled capitulation.

    I do not believe the “guiding lights” of the political left-wing are taking us in the correct direction with their emphasis on economics and rational debate…Politics is an art, and that art is best expressed in the heat of emotion…like the politics of Italy and Spain..like the politics of South America…with all the heat of passion and fury…if we were to leave it to the dry banality of the educated middle-classes, it would equate here in Australia to reducing Kenneth Slessor’s iconic “Five Bells” to little more that a factual account of a bloated, drowned corpse bumping against the barnacle encrusted piles of the Manly wharves…never the song of those wonderful pictures in words :

    “Five Bells…By Kenneth Slessor..

    Time that is moved by little fidget wheels
    Is not my time, the flood that does not flow.
    Between the double and the single bell
    Of a ship’s hour, between a round of bells
    From the dark warship riding there below,
    I have lived many lives, and this one life
    Of Joe, long dead, who lives between five bells.

    Deep and dissolving verticals of light
    Ferry the falls of moonshine down. Five bells
    Coldly rung out in a machine’s voice. Night and water
    Pour to one rip of darkness, the Harbour floats
    In the air, the Cross hangs upside-down in water. . . . “

    Politics is an art, as I said..and I would like to deliver MY interpretation of politics as an art form..hence the style and composition of my pieces…and as I wrote in the above article, good art or bad art..there it is..THAT is my point, as I wrote at the start of the above piece…I use the Germanic settlers as a metaphor for that art.

    So..diannaart..to paraphrase John Donne..:”ask not for what ‘point’ I am trying to make…I make it for thee….”

  39. johno

    helvityni
    I can remember once on some very hot adelaide nights (sometime in the 90’s) the coolest place to sleep was on the concrete floor. Plenty of chairs though and the rent was cheap.

  40. helvityni

    “Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. On several occasions, the Wife compares herself and other women to loaves of bread. … Her point is that like white bread, virgins may be preferable, but that barley bread is equally nutritious.”

    Bread in The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath’s Prologue

    I had to the Google the WB reference…

    I don’ know if Hubby dreams of virgins, but he certainly prefers white bread; I was brought up on rye bread and still think the more seeds in the loaf the better…healthier and tastier.

  41. Joseph Carli

    Helvi’ ..The Greeks I used to work for said they liked the Italians because they introduced them to white bread!…

  42. Joseph Carli

    Virgin or Matron?…as a male who has sat at the table of both situations, I think I am not giving away any secret when I recall that at the first experience, one’s fumbling youth makes one shy and reticent as to where to start, but with the later’s better supplied table, one has enough confidence by then to reach for the sweet pot of marmalade without fear or hesitation….and…to spread it thickly!

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